This chart shows common metals that can be difficult to identify and ways to determine if your item has a clear coat finish that would need to be removed prior to plating.
   Nickel  Chrome Stainless Steel Zinc & Zinc Plated Steel Zinc Plated Iron Aluminum  Tin  Clear Coat
 Chrome Stripper Reaction Strong Fumes Solution turns dark yellow Bubbles, Solution has purple tint No reaction No reaction Bubbles, milky white surface w/ less luster No color change?
Acid (Surface Activator) Reaction easily over-attacks, item turns black after gold plating easily over-attacks, item turns black after gold plating
It is magnetic Yes No Sometimes, newer SS is often not Zinc Plated Steel is magnetic No No Depends on substrate
The gold will plate, but not adhere X X The gold will be dissolved
The machine shorts out during conductivity test X X X X
Color Undertone Yellow White, Blue
Common Items/Industry home fixtures automotive, home fixtures automotive screws, bolts, die cast items industrial automotive electrical parts